The San Francisco 49ers had a bye Sunday, but in return, fans got to watch the rest of the division burn. There’s not much of a better outcome outside of Seattle losing, but there were some huge developments within the division for Week 4. The games have concluded, but the 49ers now sit atop the NFC West in first place. It’s a very thin lead at this point, and there’s a lot of football left to play, but the 49ers are winning something which is better than what we could say the last few years. They now head into a brutal gauntlet of a schedule, so if they can hold on is anyone’s guess. If the 49ers can beat the upcoming Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams to go 6-0, they are out of excuses for getting a Wild Card spot at the very least. And both of those games are winnable.
But back to the NFC West
Seattle Seahawks (3-1)/Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1)
The first NFC West matchup of the year came with the Seahawks going to Arizona and doing what I call “an underwhelming thrashing” to the Cardinals. They went into halftime up 20-3 and then didn’t do much until the fourth quarter when the Seahawks moved the ball down the field to put the thing out of reach. Seattle wins 27-10.
Are the Cardinals just rebuilding and taking in their lumps or are they a bad team with a bad coach and a bad general manager? I don’t know.
We might not know until the move on from Kliff Kingsbury. I wasn’t sold on that offense when they brought him in, and so far, it hasn’t done anything to change my mind.
There is no excuse for the 49ers losing to the Cardinals in 2019. None. That game should have had a higher margin for the Seahawks than it did, but then again, the Seahawks lost to the Saints in Seattle, so they aren’t exactly the destructive force they have been in years past. At least not yet.
The Cardinals now go winless for the fourth straight week. We’ve seen comebacks before, but it’s safe to say they are done as far as winning the division unless they go on a massive winning streak.
Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
And now the best part of the day, the Los Angeles Rams were beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first half, the game looked like it was going to be a blowout with all the picks Jared Goff threw and how the Rams offense couldn’t do much of anything. The Rams mustered all the strength they had and made a game out of it, making many think they might find a way to win this thing.
But they didn’t.
The fact the Rams lost to a Buccaneers squad the 49ers were able to put away says a lot about the Buccaneers. They are not a bad team like me, and so many others were quick to say they were. The Buccaneers are a decent football team. The Rams continue to have something off with their defense, and when the 49ers come to Los Angeles, I see a game that the 49ers can win if they play smart football and limit their mistakes.
Again, if the 49ers beat the Rams in Los Angeles, that would be the statement that they are not pretenders in the NFL. At least that’ what I think.
Into Week 5
The NFC West will be on the primetime spotlight Thursday with the Rams going to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. Whoever loses, 49ers fans win. Both teams are locked in an even record, and this should start to give us some ideas on who’s who in the division. After the 49ers face the Rams in Week 6, we will have a better idea of what things are looking like.
The Cardinals will travel to Cincinnati and face the Bengals. That should be rather interesting since the 49ers punked the Bengals good a couple of weeks ago.
The 49ers are in first place now, but that can change very, very quickly. They are holding on by a slim margin and need to keep winning. They return with a primetime game on Monday Night Football and could have a second primetime game the very next week if the NFL flexes their Week 6 game against the Rams in. If the 49ers can win both of those, hold onto your butts.
They have a huge opportunity here, one they haven’t had in quite some time.
1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. Cleveland Browns
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams
3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at Seattle Seahawks
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: at Cincinnati Bengals